The Esquimalt Look Out – A Novel Approach

A novel approach – public decides winner

Melissa Atkinson
November 20, 2006

A news snippet on human trafficking sparked the idea for Meretta Pater’s first novel, a romantic suspense story set in Japan.

For two years, in-between caring for her three children and maintaining her home in 4 Wing Cold Lake, she tapped away on her keyboard until her heroine’s story was complete.

The 365-page novel follows E.R. nurse Taren Gildman to Tokyo and into the Japanese Mafia in search of her kidnapped sister. When the Mafia discover she’s learned too much about their nefarious business dealings, they put a hit on her. The romantic twist comes with Zach Bodine, an ex-US Ranger searching for an American Senator’s daughter. He insinuates himself into her search, hoping to access vital information.

“Why romantic suspense? The romance part because love is universal and gives us all hope in a world that sometimes is very bleak. Suspense because while I like my own life to be calm and calibrated, I do crave a bit of edginess and excitement, so I get that living vicariously through my characters,” she says.

Her husband, Cpl Clint Pater, dreamed up the title: Rising Sin.

“It’s a play on the rising sun on the Japanese flag and comments on the nature of sex-slavery and human trafficking that is too common in the world,” says the 34-year-old author.

Instead of knocking on the doors of publishers, she submitted her work online to the third American Title competition, with the first prize a coveted publishing contract. Within a few weeks, she was chosen as one of 10 finalists out of 250 submissions.

The contest is held in a series of five rounds, with the public voting on each round. The two writers with the least votes are knocked out. Pater has survived round one, Best First Line, and is now hoping to score votes on best hero and heroine description. She’s looking to the military community to keep her dream of getting published alive.

“Having been chosen from 250 entries tells me that I’m doing something right with my words, and that sometime soon my book will be sitting in a bookstore. As well, I’m one of two Canadians in the contest, so I’m looking for a little home country support to keep that U.S./Canada rivalry going. It would be nice that if Canada can’t have the Stanley cup, at least we can have the American Title,” she says.

If she wins she’ll have to keep it tight-lipped. The winner and runner-up are sworn to secrecy until the Romantic Times convention in Houston, Texas, next May, where the winner’s cover is revealed. If she doesn’t win, she’ll keep on cheering for the other writers.

“The 10 of us have already formed a writing loop to keep in touch with one another and offer support. It’s a great camaraderie. And of course, I’ll keep writing. Someday my books will be sitting on the shelves. I hope sooner rather than later, but definitely someday.”

To vote for Meretta Pater in round two, between Nov. 13 and 26 go to or send an email to with Rising Sin in the subject line.